No one likes to be around a bragger. Constantly hearing someone boast is boring and tiring. We have to be on our guard to not fall into this trap. There is a difference in being proud and outright bragging about things. Why do people feel the need to brag? Who are they trying to prove something to? We have all probably been guilty of it one time or other.
Proverbs 27:2 says "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips." Being a former service member we are used to awards ceremonies where medals are awarded and rightly so. These men and women who receive them, especially in combat situations, are true giants of freedom! They deserve the applause when walking through airports and other places. Awards are nice. But we do not need to tell everyone about our awards. It will not matter. As a former military boss told me once, "Let your virtues speak for themselves."
James 4:6 says " But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”1 Peter 5:6 says "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." Romans 12:3 says " For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."
When you get a free moment later today read Deuteronomy chapter 8. It is basically about what happens when we forget God. Remember God is behind all our successes. We are to give Him the glory. I love it when at the a Super Bowl or Miss America the winner occasionally has raised their hands in the air acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ. My son used to thank The Lord in the programs of the theatrical plays he was in. God is the one who has given us our talents after all. Try praising others and encouraging them instead of talking about yourself. It is rather refreshing.
Even doing Christian things we might slip on the 'brag wagon' occasionally and feel like we want to 'share' our good deed. Sometimes depending on the context of the sharing it is OK but not to make yourself look like a saint. For instance, if you are wealthy and give a huge sum of money to a ministry why not do it as a secret. That has happened at my church in Madison, Alabama where an anonymous donor gave a phenomenal amount of money to the building fund. He or she did not need someone to announce it or pat them on the back. When you reach that point you are truly humble. Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."
When you start getting pats on back and compliments they can go to your head or you can remember to say, "to God be the glory." It is easy to get sucked into thinking you are pretty darn special especially perhaps if you are famous, maybe work somewhere like in New York or LA or the Nations Capitol , go to a fancy school, know important people or have a prestigious title. We are all special in God's eyes. Each of us is gifted for God's purposes and not one person is better than the other no matter where they live or what they do. Some gifts stand out more such as the talents of a physician , nuclear physicist or rocket scientist but everyone is important to God.
So where do you stand today? Do you need some practice on being humble? Try your best if you are overlooked at an awards ceremony or volunteer luncheon to let it go. What does it matter in the big scheme of things? To God be the glory!
PRAYER: Father if I have bragged and tried to put myself above others forgive me. Help me to find ways to compliment my fellow man and brag on them and encourage them. Help me learn to show interest in the gifts of others. In Jesus Name. Amen